Re-visiting an old piece

Not quite 20 years ago my friend Marcia wanted me to make a tallit bag for her. She didn't quite know what she wanted it to look like but she knew that she wanted it to include  the crochet arba kanfot her grandmother had made as an engagement gift for Marcia's grandfather.

That evening Marcia came to my house she also brought along a bag filled with tallit bags that had belonged to men who meant a great deal to her. All of the men were no longer living, her father, her husband and her son. Marcia hoped that I could figure out a way to include all of these pieces into her bag.

I did.
I pieced all of the velvet bags with some additional silks ad created a bag that wore the old arba kanfot.

Earlier this week Marcia asked me to do some repairs on her tallit. The bag needed a bit of attention as well. The velvet on the buttons I had covered had worn away.

I also noticed that the arba kanfot were soiled. I washed the  arba kanfot and the soil of the past 20 years is now gone.

I pulled apart one of the velvet buttons but was unable to get the button to snap shut. So i decided to go the low tech route. You cut a circle of fabric, and stitch around the perimeter and gather the edge.

I had noticed that the red metallic elastics that I had sewn in 20 years ago to hold tyhe buttons had begun to fail.
I was unable to find more red metallic hair elastics but I did find
I braided three elastics to make the new loops.
I am pleased with this choice
because it works so well with the lining.

 When Marcia had first discussed using her grandfather's  arba kanfot she was ready for me to cut them up. It seemed a crime to cut up such old and special handwork. I realized that the old crochet work could be tied to the tallit bag with tiny ribbons. Marcia's grandmother's work could be preserved, whole.


  1. Very creative and what a special memory she'll have. I love how you used the elastic "ponies".

  2. The use of the ponies came out of a moment of desperation. Marcia loves this piece. She wrote about it in Lillith magazine in an article that came out in 2005.


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